All sequels all the time

Seems to me that this generation will now see nothing but sequels at the high-budget end. Big budgets have to be recouped over multiple titles in one IP and there isn’t enough life left in the generation to do multiple anythings. Hence, sequels all the way, plus low budget inventiveness. Me am sad.

Looking down just the first page here on Qt3 I see

Dwarf Fortress,
Wargame: European Escalation
Master of Magic
World of Tanks
Funcoms new MMO
Sins of a Dark Age
League of Legends
Blow Blood

And thats just the first page here - so, I think you are being to negative :-)

I think Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft and Terraria are all low budget inventiveness aren’t they? European Escalation is a sequel and I don’t really recognise the others - so I don’t know if they destroy my claim or not :)

Amalur does, though its business model is MMO-related somehow I think. I was thinking of SP titles I suppose, rather than MMOs like Secret World.

There certainly are a lot of sequels, and I expect we’ll see more in the future. But I agree with Razgon that there’s plenty of other fish in the sea too. I think there’s a cycle of life here…game studio has hit, game studio produces 2-3 sequels for hit, people stop buying the series. How many 4s and 5s are there that really made it big? Not a lot, and once you have one flop, the game studio is more likely to move on to other things.

… or get closed down after having been bought out by EA ;)

Its normal for videogames to have 2th, 3th versions. And often these second or third game are better than the original. So is even good that this happend, because the game devs can use the time to realize his original vision, that maybe was not posible with the first game. Things like engines have a very long life and can progress to the better with every version. This year is not special, we have a lot of new titles, a lot of games reusing the gameplay from older titles and a few unnecesary games.

Games aren’t movies. Most long-running franchises in gaming actually improve over time, even with occasional regressions. Baldur’s Gate 2 is vastly superior to 1. Everyone remembers Warcraft 2, no one talks about Warcraft 1. Civilization? 2 & 4. Ultima? 8. Heroes of Might & Magic? 3. Etc.

In the past, if you had a good idea, there were limited options for self publishing so the best choice was for game writers to try and convince a publisher to fund their idea.

These days, there are much fewer hurdles for self publishing games, so we are seeing a much greater range of “low budget inventiveness”.

I don’t think this a bad state of affairs.

I do wish game developers would take more risks on new types of games or at the very least look at older interesting games that never got sequels. Sacrifice 2 anyone?

Yeah, I like new shit too, but the ‘oh noes sequels!’ is such a lazy, thoughtless, copy-paste criticism. In narrative-oriented mediums sequels can be ruinous, and game series with a big narrative focus often collapse under their own weight in short order (witness: Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear etc.) but in general, it doesn’t really apply so easily to games.
In any case, why waste your time being sad about the inevitable? Of course big-budget game pubs are going to be risk-averse. It’s either that or go under, pretty much.


Wait, I mean… uh…

Most of my all-time favorite games are sequels. shrug It’s often the second one in the series, oddly enough. Off the top of my head, my only non-sequel favorites in the last 5 years are Company of Heroes, STALKER, and Dragon Age (marginal).

Yeah, sequels are infinitely worse in a narrative medium because they force the writers to mangle the plot (like, uh, the Matrix) to keep things going. Or, they just fuck up the whole franchise by introducing a bunch of shit story (like Star Wars). The Star Wars prequels actually reached out and made the original trilogy a lot worse for me, to the point where I haven’t given a shit about anything Star Wars related since Attack of the Clones came out.

It’s less important for a game. The Starcraft 2 story was so awful it made the SC1 story worse, and yet it mattes so much less because it’s like 0.5% of what I care about in that game.

Until NOLF 3 or Bayonetta 2 is released (preferably both), there aren’t enough sequels.

If we just allow the big publishers to run every IP into the ground by creating only sequels, eventually these will be the only options left and they will get made.

I look at the first game as a proof of concept, usually the sequel if done by the same developer is better:
Mass Effect 2
Assassins Creed 2
Masters of Orion 2
TIE Fighter

You fail to grasp the point with your lazy, thoughtless post, which is about the absence of fresh high budget titles rather than the presence of sequels. And it’s the attitude of publishers to the end of the cycle that I’m suggesting, so your ‘publishers are risk averse-duh’ comment also misses the point. When you spool out your lazy, copy-paste crap, be less of a dick.

But there are people releasing big-budget games that aren’t sequels. And they are all going to bomb. Except maybe Amalur, for some stupid reason. Anyway, you smell.

Also: I wasn’t responding to you specifically. Honestly, there wasn’t much to discuss without stretching out the topic.

Wow, Alistair. I also saw those threads (in the exact same order) and was thinking the exact same thing.

I feel weird now.

I would like to add:

Until Star Control 3 or Master of Orion 3 are released, there aren’t enough sequels.


Agree with your larger point, although your choice of Ultima 8 is idiosyncratic.